Thoughts from the Felt: The Deuce-Seven Game

20 February 2009, Created By: Sean Lind
Thoughts from the Felt: The Deuce-Seven Game
Live poker is all about taking control of a table, and manipulating its play to suit your own needs.

Your goal is to take the other players out of their element, and put them into a game they're not ready to play.

In the world of lower-stakes No-Limit ($1/$2 and $2/$5), the default way to make players uncomfortable at the table is by cranking up the action. Many players playing lower-limit No-Limit are doing so because it's the cheapest No-Limit game available to them.

The truth is, they simply cannot afford to play anything else.

Oftentimes, these players are stretching themselves thin as it is to play the games they're at. If a player can't afford to play the game they're at, they will want to rock up and shy away from action.

Enter the deuce-seven game.

Annette Obrestad
A game like the Deuce-Seven game won't affect some opponents.

For those of you who don't know, it's simple: if any player (who's agreed to play the game) wins a pot with deuce-seven as their hand, every other player playing the game pays him an agreed-upon amount of money.

The amount of money has to be large enough to make winning the game worth as much as a decent pot in the overall game. In a $1/$2 No-Limit game, you would want every player to pay $10.

The players who are really uncomfortable with action at the table will refuse to take part in the deuce-seven game. But as long as you have more than half the players at the table taking part, the others will be caught up in the crossfire.

For a quick example of how to pitch the game to a table, you can check out my article Beginner's Guide to Simple Prop Bets.

Large Pots and Big Losses

I remember sitting at an average $1/$2 No-Limit game full of donkeys and players who thought they were the next durrrr. As explained in Daniel Skolovy's strategy article How to Crush Live $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em, beating this game wasn't exactly rocket surgery.

I immediately began to juice the table - my favorite thing to do at a poker table. The deuce-seven game got put into play with eight of the players on board for $10.

Even if a deuce-seven is never dealt, just talking to the whole table, getting them to agree and think about gambling, can be enough to change the dynamics of the table.

In this case, it took close to 45 minutes before the first deuce-seven was dealt.

The player to be dealt the hand was a kid, moderately comfortable at the table. He's obviously played the game a few times before, but has yet to come anywhere close to being a long-term winner at it.

Being dealt the deuce-seven, he plans to take the $70 reward, and opens the pot for a standard raise.

Rasmus Nielsen
Bluff snapped off? Initiate the face of disgust.

A girl (not playing the deuce-seven game) makes the call, sending them heads-up to the flop. The flop comes T 6 T, and the girl bets $15 into the $30 pot.

The kid raises to $75, leaving him only $25 back. Almost before the kid has let go of his chips, the girl moves all-in overtop of him.

After he shows his hand, he mucks, venting frustration at losing most his stack. The girl shows her ten and takes in the pot.

A few more players, including myself, took a run at bluffing a pot with deuce-seven during the session, but not a single one of us was successful.

Over the course of play, though, the deuce-seven game created hundreds of dollars' worth of action - the equivalent of multiple full buy-ins.

If you're capable of consistently outplaying your opponents, the more action you can create, the better off you are. That's why, if you're a skilled player, initiating the deuce-seven game is always a good idea.


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